Do you know what the dates from August 1st to 7th signify?
It’s World Breastfeeding Week!
Every year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) celebrates World Breastfeeding Week from August 1st to 7th, encouraging mothers worldwide to breastfeed and improve infant health.
So, what are the benefits of continuing breastfeeding for babies after 6 months?
- Reduced risk of allergies:
Breast milk helps newborns establish a healthy gut microbiota quickly. Additionally, the taste of breast milk changes with the mother’s diet, facilitating the smooth introduction of complementary foods after 6 months and reducing the likelihood of allergies.
- Decreased risk of illness:
Continuing to breastfeed babies beyond 6 months provides them with antibodies and immune substances that help fight harmful bacteria and infections. The chances of respiratory illnesses, diarrhea, and ear infections are significantly reduced. Even in adulthood, the likelihood of obesity and various metabolic diseases is noticeably decreased.
- Enhanced sense of security:
As children grow and explore the world, from rolling over to sitting up and crawling, breastfeeding remains an important way for them to soothe their emotions when faced with setbacks, fear, or fatigue. Don’t worry about extended nursing leading to clinginess. Fulfilling a child’s need for dependency during this stage benefits them throughout their lives.
- (4) Postpartum recovery:
Extending the breastfeeding period not only benefits the baby but also has numerous advantages for the mother. It reduces the risk of various diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding burns many calories, helping mothers regain their pre-pregnancy body faster.
Therefore, after introducing solid foods to a 6-month-old baby, breast milk remains a crucial source of nutrition. According to authoritative recommendations from organizations like the AAP and WHO, babies under 6 months of age should be exclusively breastfed, ideally until at least 1 year of age. If possible, mothers can continue breastfeeding for 2 years or even longer.